New Goodyear CEO: ‘Streamlining the Portfolio’ Is One Focus

Feb. 13, 2024

Two weeks into his new job as the leader of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., President and CEO Mark Stewart said he’s working diligently to deepen his understanding of the tiremaker, including its customers and products.

Stewart spoke to investors Feb. 13 during a conference call after the company revealed it recorded a loss of $689 million in 2023 — with global sales of $20 billion.

Stewart, who succeeds Rich Kramer at Goodyear, says he’s conducting “operational deep dives” as he begins work to follow through on the Goodyear Forward plan, which was published in November as a result of demands from Elliot Management, one of the tiremaker’s largest investors.

After leading the North American operations at Stellantis, Stewart acknowledged his perspective comes from that of an automotive OEM supplier “and the understanding of needing to lead through industry cyclicality, and a clear focus on manufacturing, purchasing, engineering and logistics in order for us to achieve our financials.

“What this means is that in addition to spending time meeting our customers, understanding our products and product placement, you can expect me to focus heavily on Goodyear’s manufacturing operations and distribution — understanding it on every level and working with the team to enhance capability and our cost effectiveness.”

Other focuses will include SKUs and “streamlining the portfolio,” Stewart said, in addition to “product complexity as well as our go to market strategies.”

And all of this will be “centered purely around our Goodyear Forward in the coming months.

“I've engaged in deep dives on each element of the program, the associated work stream, our amazing teams and committed to delivering the outcomes of the Forward plan. I've been a part of leading transformational efforts and driving results in my past roles and bringing them to the bottom line through clear KPIs, (and) the definition, the tracking and speed of execution. For Goodyear, for us, it's about maximizing our strength in our market position in North America, improving our cost structure as well as de-risking our balance sheet.

“Ultimately, I'm confident Goodyear Forward will drive our company’s next stage of profitable growth and success. It's clear and I fully support the plan.”

Stewart says he’s spending most of his time “listening to our team here at Goodyear., both at headquarters, in the plants, our retailers (and) our customers — meaning in retail, OE and distribution.”

His introductory deep dive, especially in the first 30, 60 and 90 days, is to challenge what he thinks he knows, and to gain a better understanding of things from the team with hopes that there will be some quick wins based on “learnings that I've had from the past as well.”

Stewart said, “It really is about trying to keep that fresh eye with a hard drive to execution, and it is about speed of execution. It's about us delivering that Goodyear Forward plan.

“There's incredible momentum in the Goodyear Forward plan meeting with the teams,” and Stewart said his job is to help “the rest of the team, in terms of helping to lead and guide those initiatives across the finish line.”

About the Author

Joy Kopcha | Managing Editor

After more than a dozen years working as a newspaper reporter in Kansas, Indiana, and Pennsylvania, Joy Kopcha joined Modern Tire Dealer as senior editor in 2014. She has covered murder trials, a prison riot and more city council, county commission, and school board meetings than she cares to remember.